LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk

Downtown shooting causes city commissioner to talk about ... panhandlers; are city leaders ready to tackle gun issues?


On a recent Sunday morning, there were pools of blood on the sidewalks of Massachusetts Street for all to see. That didn’t exactly make for the best dinner conversation at a Junior Achievement gala I attended on Wednesday.

But it did spark an interesting comment. It came from a community leader who told me she was surprised there weren’t more serious discussions in the wake of the downtown shooting that left three dead and two injured.

Come to find out, she was more right than I knew. About that same time, candidates for the Lawrence City Commission were participating in a forum for Downtown Lawrence Inc. There, you could find a community leader working hard to change the subject.

All candidates were asked a question about last week’s mass shooting and whether downtown needs more police presence. City Commissioner Matthew Herbert, who is seeking re-election, gave a thoughtful answer in some regards. He expressed sorrow over the tragedy, and perhaps correctly noted that more police officers in downtown likely wouldn’t have prevented the shootings.

Quite a few police officers were already downtown. They were so close to the shootings that no one had to call in the incident. Police officers heard the shots and came running.

But instead of explaining what he thought the community ought to be doing to prevent such tragedies, he did what politicians sometimes do. He pivoted. He pivoted to . . . panhandlers.

“Where we need our police presence is during the day,” Herbert said. “The biggest impact to downtown business owners is not happening at 1:40 in the morning. The biggest impact to downtown business owners is happening at 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon when everyday shoppers are feeling uncomfortable going into your storefronts because three or four people are sitting outside your front door begging for money.”

He did tell the crowd what Lawrence ought not to be doing.

“What we need to make sure we are not doing is killing downtown with the presence of police,” he said.

Somebody in the crowd — largely composed of downtown business owners — booed him at that point.

But perhaps the most important comments Herbert made were these:

“The events that happened Saturday evening/Sunday morning are, of course, awful,” Herbert said. “But I think we need to be very careful that we are not making decisions that legislate from a place of fear. If we as a City Commission are legislating from a worst-case scenario, I think we are making a huge mistake.”

Those comments should create a question for all of us: What makes us think this is a worst-case scenario? Why would we think this is a one-off incident — or an outlier, as Herbert also labeled it — to never be repeated?

For those who have been paying attention to crime news, plenty of red flags have gone up in downtown Lawrence just in the past three months. On Sept. 3, multiple gunshots were fired in the public right-of-way at 10th and Vermont streets in downtown. Two parked vehicles were damaged, but thankfully no people were in the way of those particular bullets. On July 17, two gun incidents occurred in downtown in one evening. A man inside Leroy’s Tavern revealed a gun as part of a fight that began in the bar. In a separate incident, a man at 10th and New Hampshire pulled a gun on a bystander. In the New Hampshire incident, the gun was a pellet gun. The perpetrator was a transient, so perhaps he didn’t have the money to buy a bigger one.

Look a bit outside of downtown, and you can find even more red flags. On Sept. 23, a man was apparently shot near Playerz sports bar near 19th and Haskell, although much about that shooting remains a mystery. It is not to be confused though with a previous shooting in the Playerz parking lot. That occurred in 2016, but the man was recently sentenced. He received a year’s probation and gets to keep his job at . . . a bar.

On Sept. 3, one man was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting incident at the Motel 6 in North Lawrence. On Aug. 11, a man was charged for attempted murder when he shot at an occupied car in the 3300 block of Iowa Street. I could list more.

There is a theme to all of those incidents: gun play in public spaces. It would seem that the chances of an innocent bystander getting shot in Lawrence are greater than we would care to admit. Why would we think such a thing wouldn’t happen in downtown, our most public and crowded of spaces?

Granted, coming up with solutions is not easy. But there are plenty of issues Lawrence leaders could be talking about. Here are four:

Are we doing enough to tell the public that we don’t want them to bring their guns downtown? I recently walked Massachusetts Street and looked at the front door of every business. I found only 11 businesses with a no-gun sign. Only one of them was a bar, The Red Lyon. Most of the other drinking establishments just off Mass didn’t have them either, with The Sandbar being an exception. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the bars have policies against guns, but for whatever reason, they are not putting the sign up. They should. The first step to stopping bad behavior is making it clear that you want it to stop. Lawrence needs to be very clear about this message: Guns and alcohol don’t mix.

Should the city issue security guidelines — or perhaps even regulations — for drinking establishments? Some places, like the Granada, use a metal detector wand to screen their patrons at the door. But there are many bars that don’t; they just rely on the doorman's eye. You may be noting at this point that the recent shootings did not take place inside a bar. True, but it also is important to recognize that people in downtown past midnight most likely were brought there by a desire to visit a drinking establishment.

Should Lawrence police change their tactics? Perhaps undercover Lawrence police officers should periodically work the doors of a few establishments. Do the police department and bars communicate well enough when a patron does have a gun? While Kansas law makes it exceedingly easy to legally carry a concealed weapon, you still must be 21 or older to do so. Plus, people with certain convictions aren’t allowed to carry either. Is there a system in place to check gun-toters to make sure they are meeting those requirements?

Can Lawrence effectively lead a lobbying effort for common-sense changes to gun laws? While concealed carry isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, could there be some modifications? Do lawmakers really think it is a good idea for people to be able to go into a bar, drink to excess and carry a gun? What’s the penalty if they do?

Or, we could talk more about panhandling. Indeed, it may be an issue worth discussing. But first, let's clean the blood off the sidewalks.


Richard Quinlan 5 months, 1 week ago

How Quaint , Lawrence has its own skid row now !

Rick Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

"In the New Hampshire incident, the gun was a pellet gun. The perpetrator was a transient, so perhaps he didn’t have the money to buy a bigger one."

Stay classy, LJW.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

It is illegal for permitted CC to drink to “excess.”

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

Great! How are we going to make sure that a drunk with a gun isn't going to harm innocent bystanders?

Stacy Napier 5 months, 1 week ago

If you don't want shootings downtown then the first step is quit catering to the gangster / criminal element. It was AZZJAMZ that night. https://thegranada.com/event/2017/09/30/assjamz What do all the good citizens really expect that to bring to town.

If you really want to stop all the drunken stupidness close the bars downtown. Everyone wants to come to Lawrence to party. They get drunk smoke some week (which most think is ok) and then act stupid.

That about sums it up.

Harlan Hobbs 5 months, 1 week ago

Mr. Herbert is one brave soul for speaking plainly. He focuses on the real problems, not the "low hanging fruit" that the left always wants to grab.

Lawrence is rapidly being taken over by the "symbolism over substance" crowd who thinks that you can legislate morality. The facts are that there are undesirable elements to some degree in every town in this country, and more gun control laws are not the answer. If it were, then cities like Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, etc. etc. etc. wouldn't have the highest crime rates in the country.

Good luck, Mr. Herbert, in your reelection bid. Lawrence needs to keep your wisdom and common sense.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

Yes, that's right! Let's just bury our heads in the sand and hope that none of our sons, daughters or loved ones fall victims to some stupid, drunk kid with a gun. That really makes sense. And while we're at it, lets discontinue the need for a driving license. i mean as long as a kid can see over the steering wheel (telephone books or a dictionary might come in handy here), he should be able to drive to get around. What could possibly be the harm in that?

Matthew Herbert 5 months, 1 week ago

It is an interesting journalistic choice to not identify the individual booing my response as Bob Schumm, the gentleman whose incentive request I had just voted against 24 hours prior. Your reporter was sitting 10 feet from Mr.Schumm. Everyone in that room knew who was booing- why the decision to not report that?

Francis Hunt 5 months, 1 week ago

His incentive passed without your support commissioner. Maybe the booing was because he knows more about being a downtown business owner than you, it did follow your ridiculous comment “What we need to make sure we are not doing is killing downtown with the presence of police." Just leave it at "What we need to make sure we are not doing is killing downtown." Commissioner, downtown business owners want a greater police presence at night, it's common sense. Policing panhandlers in the afternoon isn't going to stop the fight on the corner at 1:40 in the morning. The LJWorld only touched on recent incidents, there are plenty to recall without going back to far in history.

Maybe the city should do what they said they were going to do in 2012 and develop a policy for downtown cameras. Maybe they should worry about safety and not over the top concerns by the ACLU and others who think the police are going to be reading over their shoulders.

Maybe it's time to worry about safety and not urban farming, art corridors and panhandlers.

Rick Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Maybe former City Commissioners shouldn't be booing current City Commission candidates during a forum. (Then again, maybe it's the bar's fault for over-pouring. We'll just blame them.)

Francis Hunt 5 months, 1 week ago

Definitely not a classy move, but hey, free speech.

John Kyle 5 months, 1 week ago

Maybe the LJW isn't as petty as you Mr Herbert

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months, 1 week ago

The people I don't want bringing guns downtown are not people who respect signs, laws or life.

The people who carry responsibly, with all due respect, are not a problem.

The only police presence killing business downtown are the meter maids.

Nathan Anderson 5 months, 1 week ago

If your establishment needs to run patrons through a metal detector and pat-downs (Granada), you're obviously attracting the wrong crowd.

BTW, this isn't a one-off incident. Remember this?


Joe Masterson 5 months, 1 week ago

Most of the major concerts and sporting events I've been to over the last 15 to 20 years have had metal detectors and pat downs. Does that mean artists like Weird Al, Paul McCartney, and Weezer as well at college basketball and hockey games bring the wrong crowds?

Kendra Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

I went through a metal detector when I went to see Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live. It is a safety precaution.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

“Oh look, the have a no-gun sign up. We can’t bring in our guns” said no criminal ever.

Yes, we need to stop violence, but you have to use common sense too. The sign isn’t going to stop the criminal. The wand isn’t going to stop the criminal asevidenced by the last shooting. They left their guns outside, collected them when they left and then committed murder.

Imposing feel good but do nothing regulations will drive out businesses. Maybe this is the answer. No bars, less crime.

“My silence to you is not consent but just an acknowledgment that you are a troll”

Gary Stussie 5 months, 1 week ago

Does anyone believe that the 3 young people who were killed on Mass street were killed by a legally owned concealed carry weapon?

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

I don’t. Which is why no one who supports more gun control laws can come up with a new law that would have prevented the murders from happening.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

Contrary to Brock's assertion, it could just as easily have been that way. Brock's logic might run something like this: Murders are committed only with illegal firearms owned by bad people. Lawrence has experienced several murders, recently. Bad people must been in Lawrence to commit those murders with illegal firearms.

Debbie Julian Liddel 5 months, 1 week ago

I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Journal World is trying to start a campaign to pass local restrictions on gun rights. As noted by others, people who obey laws, signs, etc. are not the problem. Drinking to excess and guns are not a good combination. There are other reasons to be downtown - even in the wee hours of the morning. The apparent irresponsibility of some people should not be used to take away my right to protect myself and others.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

So, if in the process of protecting yourself, it's OK if you harm somebody else who is not harming you. Of course what was i thinking you have been trained using scenarios where there is an active shooter and can make split-second decisions that are never wrong.

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months ago

So, in the process of protecting your political agenda you think it is OK to imply somebody DOESN'T have training and/or CAN'T make appropriate split-second decisions?

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

"...I’ve seen my friends and colleagues on the Left side of the gun control debate dumbfounded at why Second Amendment advocates don’t seem to budge on their views after mass shootings. So I thought I would try my hand at explaining this phenomenon in the hopes that maybe more will be inclined to have a better conversation about guns and the Second Amendment in America. There are several reasons 2A advocates aren’t running to your side of the argument, and it might not be the ones you think...." http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/06/6-reasons-right-wing-friend-isnt-coming-side-gun-control/

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

To simplify it for those on the Left, all they have to do is ask themselves why they are unwilling to accept new laws on abortion even when they are branded as common sense and do not take away the right to have an abortion?

To make it even simpler is you know the end-game for anti-abortion advocates is a total ban for abortions and 2nd amendment advocates know that is the end-game for gun control advocates - total ban on guns.

“My silences to you is not consent but just an acknowledgment that you are a troll.”

Daniel Kennamore 5 months, 1 week ago

The difference is abortion is an ethical or moral debate.

Nobody with half a brain disagrees that having guns more readily available makes guns deaths more likely, however.

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months, 1 week ago

300 million firearms, 263 million vehicles in the US and guess which accounts for 3X the number of fatalities over the other?

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months, 1 week ago

Buckle up & start driving a car control campaign. Shoot, we have the T, we have bike lanes! Ban automobiles!

Daniel Kennamore 5 months, 1 week ago

Which is why we have laws and regulations around vehicle safety.

If we adopted the gun nut's position on regulations when it came to cars, there would be no seat-belt laws, no regulations to keep the cars as safe as possible in a crash, no driver's licenses or speed laws and no basic skills test before you can drive.

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months ago

Um so explain to me your definition of a "gun nut".

We DO have laws and regulations regarding firearms. Responsible gun owners DON'T have a problem accepting or complying with them.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

There is no logical reason for anybody to own an assault rifle in an urban area, unless you are planning on using it against other human beings.

Bob Smith 5 months ago

How do you define what is an assault rifle? Are you not aware that there are shooting sports where the participants use firearms that might seem scary to you?

Don Brennaman 5 months, 1 week ago

I thought I was about to hear your explanation. All you did was kick the can.

Bob Zielinski 5 months, 1 week ago

How much of the violence is due to people in Lawrence having guns and becoming more violent and how much can be attributed to the high level of senseless violence coming from Kansas City? Lawrence is filled with soft targets for criminals to prey upon. Some people find their entertainment through acting violently, looking to instigate trouble and when the police back off it just opens the door wider for them and gives a form of consent when laws are not actively enforced.

Panhandling downtown should not be condoned. Crack down on these problems, don't quibble and don't try to be accommodating. When these problems are allowed to exist it runs the area down, discourages businesses from entering the area and ruins the quality of life for everyone in Lawrence (except the people who thrive on committing these crimes).

David Holroyd 5 months, 1 week ago

More wasted time talking about shootings and catching suspects.

Does anyone remember the articles written in 2006 thats 11 years ago.

The candidates need to stay focused. The cannot come up with a plan that stops shootings. They CAN come up with a plan to catch the suspects.

Amyx voted against cameras downtown..he said they would only help to catch or identify the suspects I cannot believe Amyx was quoted as saying that, but he agreed with a KU professor so called expert on cameras.

Well guess what the banks have cameras and the KU professor is wrong. Stay away from the KU professors, the experts. They have many times mucked up this community. And the new Chancellor wants to improve "town and gown" relationships. That is the same b.s. that has been spewed for years..The new chancellor wont get much support from the "town" for the "gown' with the "gown' bitching about pay and their morale.

So suck it up KU professors or move on.

I was downtown this weekend and the police were called to talk to 3 women outside the Tonic. wonder what that was about..the commissioners and candidates should look into that.

The building was packed and the lines outside were waiting to get in....It appeared to be the 'in" place as opposed to Brothers which was lacking in clientele (only short lived though) AND a police car sat in the A&P (formerly) parking lot.

That was a good gig for the police,,,sit in the car while the real problems were in the 700 block..

Well, why doesn't Chad print the artilces from 2006, 2009 and we can read about Last Call, Brad Ziegler and others quoted...Maybe the commissioners and candidates need a refresher course ...101 Downtown and What a Qaugmire.

Brandon Devlin 5 months, 1 week ago

Talk about staying focused. . .this rant is hard to follow.

Ray Mizumura 5 months, 1 week ago

Right, David. All the Professors at KU are here only to live high on the hog, getting rich and congratulating one another, pursuing their goals of turning all students into gay communists. They serve only one purpose, and that is to "muck up the community." You've got the final solution; you're the man. Do things David's way, or become one of the totalitarian socialists. You'd be a great consultant to the likes of Kim Jong Un. After all, the totalitarian socialists make sure they wipe out the intellectuals, efficiently and decisively.

Scott Morgan 5 months ago

Maybe the professors can figure out how to use signs explaining shooting stolen guns downtown is illegal.

Gary Martin 5 months, 1 week ago

Commissioner Herbert really ought to learn what the laws are before he makes such statements. For your edification, it is ILLEGAL to carry loaded firearms while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Straight from the document:

Carry Under the Influence  As of July 1, 2014, it will be generally unlawful for anyone to have a loaded firearm on their person or within their immediate access and control while that individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. See, K.S.A. 21-6332. This prohibition used to apply only to concealed carry licensees.  This is a class A misdemeanor offense (up to one year in jail and/or up to $2500.00 in fines)  Refusal to test can result in a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

...which relies on the honor system, just like every other ordinance and law we have. You're acting like this law protects us, all the while screaming that the reason you need to carry a gun to begin with is because criminals don't follow the law, specifically no gun signs. So this law written in a book at the courthouse is so much more effective than no gun signs? What is the difference? It is enforceable, just like the no gun signs, but only if reported, and acted upon by law enforcement...after an incident. It will not keep anyone, legal firearms owner or not, from actually committing the crime. It just gives the courts something to punish someone for after the fact, which doesn't bring loved ones back after the act is committed.

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months, 1 week ago

Yeah so if i am raped and murdered and could not protect myself YOU come tell my daughter, son, mother, father, et al, how YOU were SO right.

And by all means, let's deny/ignore ANY facts regarding private RESPONSIBLE gun owners SAVING lives.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

Jeanette, look at my comment on your earlier post. You make a lot of assumptions about you abilities as the owner of a firearm. What if they are wrong?

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months ago

You are assuming i am making assumptions.

As for your comment on my earlier post where you said, "There is no logical reason for anybody to own an assault rifle in an urban area, unless you are planning on using it against other human beings."...that goes far beyond assumption because there are MANY reasons people who receive their mail at an urban or suburban address own semi-automatic firearms and there is no logic in wrongfully accusing people in such a manner.

I am sorry you are so fearful, i truly mean that! We ALL deserve to not just FEEL safe but to BE safe! Understanding what IS and what is NOT a REAL threat is an imperative in our lives which even a gun-free world wouldn't change.

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

Rape and murder is already illegal. Above, Gary is quoting the gun laws that are supposed to "prove" that certain illegal activities related to legal gun ownership will never occur. How can you act like the laws Gary quotes will be obeyed with complete certainty, while admitting that other illegal activities still occur?

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months, 1 week ago

Until you prove with complete certainty i can legally walk alone anywhere in this city, county, state, country without any risk of harm, how dare you insist my life is unworthy of preserving.

300 million firearms, 263 million vehicles in the US and guess which accounts for 3X the number of fatalities over the other? And, Theodore, are YOU giving up your right to drive because someone else is DUI? Brilliant! I'll wave hello while passing you as you are riding the T or pedaling the bike lanes.

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

Jeanette, you're making some considerable leaps in your comprehension. I never said you weren't worthy or wish you harm. Im just saying that Gary's logic is flawed. You have even admitted that just because things are written in law doesn't mean they will be obeyed. Just because a legal gun owner is not permitted to carry under the influence doesnt mean they won't. That's it. It doesn't give anyone any more peace of mind, just the same as you still think you need a gun to protect you from the illegal act of murder or rape. At least you have some recourse for your perceived threat (carry a gun to protect from rape and murder). Those of us who don't wish for people to carry guns everywhere don't get that same comfort. We just have to hope that the guy walking around with a gun is responsible and not a threat. Guess I won't know until it's too late.

Chris Jeter 5 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, those No gun signs have really done a lot to stop shooting in gun free zones...

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

They do about as much as having firearms laws that allow for carry of a weapon, so long as you follow the rules. As Gary pointed out above, it is illegal to carry and use drugs/alcohol. How does this law protect us from gun owners using alcohol or drugs and committing a stupid crime with their gun? Isn't this "protection" just as flimsy as a gun sign stopping someone from carrying a gun in a "gun free" area? How does one of these ordinances protect us and one not? In one breath you're saying a stupid sign/law won't protect you, and so you need to carry a gun, but in the same breath telling all of us who don't want people carrying guns all over the place that we are protected by the law and not to worry. Which is it?

It's legal to buy a bump-stock just as long as you don't misuse it. Now look.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

"It's legal to buy a bump-stock just as long as you don't misuse it." - No. It's legal to buy it whether you end up misusing it or not. While the misuse may be illegal and being convicted may prevent future purchase/possession, it does not change the legality of the original purchase.

Personally I dislike bump-stocks because of the increased chance of accidental additional discharge. It seems unsafe to me, but not because of the increased fire rate. There are multiple ways to achieve that increased fire rate that do not require modifying the weapon, so banning them to prevent mass shootings is just a feel good measure that achieves nothing.

"In one breath you're saying a stupid sign/law won't protect you, and so you need to carry a gun, but in the same breath telling all of us who don't want people carrying guns all over the place that we are protected by the law and not to worry. Which is it?" - Neither and both. You are twisting what you are being told trying to win the argument dishonestly.

What you are being told is that you don't have to worry about the folks who follow the law (even if they are legally allowed to carry). You are also being told that you do need to worry about the folks who do not follow the law (even if they are not legally allowed to carry). Lawful carry is the best defense against unlawful carry.

Despite your inability (or refusal) to understand that simple concept, it's not a contradiction. What is a contradiction is your misguided belief that people who don't follow the current laws will suddenly start following your new laws...

Jeanette Kekahbah 5 months ago

Thank you, Andrew Applegarth, for your clarification abilities! Spot-on!

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

Unfortunately our law enforcement is reactionary, not preventative. That means that no law is 100% effective at deterring crime, which apparently is the qualification for every pro-gun advocate. "It can't stop all deaths," as if every law we have written has eradicated all of the incidents/crime it was supposed to solve. Using this threshold will ensure we never have any meaningful legislation ever.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Offer up a new law that will prevent 10 percent of gun deaths. Not 100 percent just 10 percent and I will consider it with an open mind.

Don Brennaman 5 months, 1 week ago

Let's start with mental healthcare and public education.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Okay, but that isn’t a law.

I have advocated for both on previous posts.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

You make a pretty good argument for legal carry for self-defense...

Yes, the threshold for relying solely on the law and police to protect you is for them to be 100% effective in doing so. If they cannot do that, it is necessary to supplement them with personal protection.

Ken Farris 5 months, 1 week ago

Gun signs on a bar door are pretty meaningless. As a concealed carrier, I would never carry in a bar; with or without a sign. There is nothing I could ever do with a firearm while drinking that could be judged legitimate. The only people that would carry into a bar will not be deterred by a sign.

David Holroyd 5 months, 1 week ago

Mr. Devlin,,,do not read what I write then you do not have to follow. Is Brandon Devlin a real name? Any relation to a Devlin that worked at Presbyterian Manor.?

If you can't follow don't waste your time. Why don't you present some facts once in a while or just once.?

Don't worry about me....

Lawrence is dead and not moving forward.....hey Mr.Markus how's that Van Trust deal? How's the Menard deal. Slim Pickens is might slim in the parking lot.

Brandon Devlin they need business . Maybe you and the other fake posters can get together for some Slim Pickens.

Brandon Devlin 5 months, 1 week ago

"Fake poster?" Are you for real? As for a real name, anytime you like, please, feel free to look it up in the phone book. No relation to the Devlin from Presbyterian Manor, but real just the same.


Ray Mizumura 5 months, 1 week ago

Speak for yourself, David. Lawrence is not dead. There are people who work hard, day in and day out, for a positive future. If you don't see or hear that, it's your problem.

Michael Kort 5 months, 1 week ago

Well the solution is obvious !

The panhandlers are going to have to arm themselves to protect themselves from potential gun attacks made by touristas from out of town ! ! !

They moved the homeless shelter to solve the homeless problem of panhandling downtown,...... so how well did that work out ?

So the rich don't want to see beggars downtown . So what ?....I want a pony too !

You see beggars sitting at the curb area just outside of Walmart on south Iowa St. and you sincerely wonder if they are really just poor unemployed or just junkies or drunks in progress looking for money to destroy themselves with ? Who knows ?

But I guess that even beggars have rights..... But, I also have rights ......and I can always give to a charity that sorts that all out, ....or serves those lately devastated by natural disasters, etc......and just walk or drive on by, if something internally doesn't spiritually hook me to be inspired to contribute to a street beggar .

You got so much money, sanity and time and i can't turn my desire to give, over to every asker,.......but assuming that you or I have the right to silence the asker is rather "Godly" and out of place in a public leadership role .

David Klamet 5 months, 1 week ago

This subject can be distilled down to one of trust .

I don't trust a significant fraction of the population to drive safely, much less carry a loaded weapon. Neither do I trust the government to possess all weapons.

We are an unhappy country. Some work too hard and play too little. Just what is it the rest to do? Watch Monday Night Football? We raise our kids so they can be creative and empowered. We don't seem to care so much about courtesy and responsibility.

The danger in passing gun restrictions is that we will believe that the job is done. We will not solve the fundamental problems with our society. Too many will still worship the wealthy superstars they will never be. No wonder we take so many antidepressants.

As long as we believe this a simple problem, we'll never really address it in a meaningful way.

Alas, thiese events will soon fade into the background. Some token actions might be taken. In a month, maybe two, we'll be right back where we started.

Paul Beyer 5 months, 1 week ago

Herbert just lost my vote. Anyone stupid enough to think panhandling, a problem, is far more of a problem than gun violence to downtown, doesn't deserve to be a public official.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

Guns have been de-regulated so what we need is regulations re-instated.

Pete Kennamore 5 months, 1 week ago

which other rights from the constitution would you like to regulate?

Bob Gent 5 months, 1 week ago

Are there any of our constitutional rights that we have not subjected to scrutiny and regulated in one way or another?

Brock Masters 5 months ago

Bob, the regulation of the 2nd amendment right to bear arms is very different from how other rights are regulated. Look at the first amendment, expression of speech for example. You can’t libel or slander someone, you can’t incite people to riot or yell fire in a crowded theater. Common sense regulation prohibiting someone from using speech to harm another.

Similar regulations exist of firearms. You can’t, except in self-defense, shoot someone. You can’t target practice in the city , you can’t use the weapon to threaten someone and so on. All very reasonable regulations.

Where it begins to differ and where people push back is when the regulations restrict not only what you can do, but how you can do it. You can own a gun, but it can’t be this type of gun and you have to pay a fee and pass a background check to own it. I’m not against the background check, but do oppose the fee for it.

It is unconstitutional to impose a fee to vote so it should be unconstitutional to impose a fee to exercise your right to bear arms.

The internet is the source of many crimes, credit card theft, identity theft, terrorist and child pornography and heat people would scream bloody murder if they had to pass a background check to use it

People would protest if some politician said to thwart terrorist who need to upload large files, we are going to limit internet speed to prevent transmission of large files. This is essentially the same thing as the politicians saying we need to ban magazines with a capacity of greater than 5.

Listen to some of the proposals and ask yourself how’d you or others would react if it was applied to voting, speech or abortion?

I have no problem with regulations that state you can’t murder someone, but I do have a problem with fees or regulations that do not stop the criminal and only make it more difficult for me to exercise my right.

And that is key. It is a right so until it is repealed it has to be protected like any other right.

As a side note I read where a student used a keystroke logger to hack into a computer. Keystroke loggers are legal, but since it was used for a crime should we make it illegal or require a permit? That is how we regulate guns so why not apply it to other rights or privileges?

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

The comments that go with this article read as the same old broken record the last time the topic of guns came up. It's clear to me that democracy as the founding fathers thought about it and used the assumptions they had in formulating the Constitution and Bill of Rights, no longer really applies. The founding fathers were skeptical of government, but they had an inherent belief in brotherhood and the goodness of mankind. The nub of our current debate reflects that same skepticism of government, but somehow we have lost the other, more important part, brotherhood.

We have replaced it with fear and an undercurrent of pessimism about the future. All we talk about is our rights with no real consideration of the responsibilities that go along with those rights or how exercising our rights might potentially affect others. It's all about me and how scared I am. So sad!

Brock Masters 5 months ago

It is clear to me that the gun debate is hindered by people who cannot discern the difference between rights and privileges nor a republic form of government and a democracy.

I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands.....

Democracy - majority rules Republic- protection for the minority to be represented and not be entirely overridden by the majority.

Remember silence is not consent, it just means I consider your comment unworthy of a response.

Scott Morgan 5 months ago

Should Lawrence police change their tactics? You bet, put some undercover personnel in these bars where the trouble begins. Do some frisking for weapons. If illegal guns are found, prosecute to the max. Use the dozens of gun laws on the books we have no first.

A little 4 or 5 year stint in jail sends quite a message.

Brock Masters 5 months ago

Last night I responded to Bob Gent about how the 2nd amendment is regulated differently than other rights. I suggested that people would not be happy with similar regulations applied to the 1st amendment and other rights.

Read this article this morning. It is in the UK, but could very easily be proposed here some day. Arguing gainst this type of regulation will be hard when the precedent has been set with the 2nd amendment. Is this what we really want?


Commenting has been disabled for this item.